MoonDragon's Women's Health Procedures Information
For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
Mammography is a procedure that involves taking x-rays of the breasts to detect breast cysts or tumors, especially those that cannot be felt (palpable) by the fingers during a physical examination. A mammogram is the photographic result. The procedure does not prevent breast cancer, it is used to detect cancer early when it is more likely to be successfully treated. However, there are some breast cancers that are not visible even on mammograms.
Mammogram showing benign tumors.
REASONS FOR MAMMOGRAPHY PROCEDURE
Evaluate breast symptoms such as lumps, persistent pain, nipple discharge. Screen for breast cancer. Helps to differentiate between non-cancerous breast disease and breast cancer.
MAMMOGRAPHY RISK FACTORS
None expected. Do not have a mammography performed if you are pregnant or suspected of being pregnant.
***Some concern has been expressed about over-use of x-ray radiation exposure in mammography may actually promote some forms of breast cancer. Other research has indicated that self-breast exam when combined with yearly professional breast exam has proven just as effective as a yearly mammogram and without the risk of radiation exposure. Each one of us has to make our own individual informed choices about our health care and what we are more comfortable with when it comes to diagnostic procedures.
MoonDragon's Procedure Information: Breast Exam
MoonDragon's Procedure Information: X-Ray Safety
DESCRIPTION OF MAMMOGRAPHY PROCEDURE
All clothing above the waist is removed and a gown provided that opens in the front.
You will stand in front of the x-ray equipment.
Each breast in turn will be compressed between 2 plastic plates in 2 or more positions for the x-rays. Compressing the breasts can be uncomfortable (to say the least!), but it minimizes the amount of radiation required to get a clear image.
After the films are taken, they are checked to make sure they are readable. If not, the procedure will be repeated.
MAMMOGRAPHY EXPECTED OUTCOME
There are normally no physical side effects from the test itself. As a screening test, results usually reveal normal breast tissue with no abnormal masses or calcification. Any findings that suggest cancer require further tests (such as a breast biopsy by incision or by aspiration) for confirmation.
MAMMOGRAPHY POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS
Misdiagnosis; missing cancers that are there or mistaking benign lumps for cancerous ones. Over-exposure to x-ray radiation, possibly promoting certain types of breast cancer. Radiation exposure to a embryo or fetus in an unknown pregnancy resulting in possible birth defects.
MAMMOGRAPHY POST PROCEDURE CARE
There are no special self-care measures to take following the test.
Test results that are suggestive often require a needle aspiration, biopsy, and/or ultrasound testing.
Further testing may be recommended even if the mammogram results are negative, such as when there is an undiagnosed abnormality on physical examination or unexplained symptoms occur.
Follow-up treatment steps will depend on the specific diagnosis.
Conventional medical practices recommend routine mammograms for the following age groups:
- Around the age of 40 years, all women should have their first mammogram.
- Between ages 40 and 50 years, women should have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years.
- After age 50, all women should have a mammogram every year.
- Women at high risk for breast cancer (anyone with a close relative who has had breast cancer) should have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years beginning at age 35 years.
Additional information available from:
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Breast Cancer Network
Mammography and Breast Imaging
Patient Information & Resources
FDA Certified Mammography Facilities
Listing of Facilities
Medicine is not necessary for the procedure itself.
ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS & RESTRICTIONS
No restriction for this procedure.
DIET & NUTRITION
No special diet. However, you should follow a healthy, balanced nutritional program for a healthy immune system and to maintain a health body.
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Adult Regular Diet
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information, Guidelines, Dietary Recommendations
NOTIFY YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
You have not had a mammogram as recommended for your age group.
You have questions or concerns regarding the procedure or the results.
MOONDRAGON'S BREAST CANCER LINKS
Learning About Breast Cancer Understanding Breast Tumor Staging Familiarizing Yourself With Diagnostic Techniques Understanding Fibrocystic Breast Disease Guide To Types of Mastectomies Patient Preparation For A Mastectomy Mastectomy Care After Surgery Learning About Breast Reconstruction Selecting A Prosthesis Applying An Arm Sleeve and Gauntlet Preventing Complications After A Mastectomy
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breast Cancer
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breast Reconstruction
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Fibrocystic Breast Changes
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Mammography
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Mastectomy
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Partial Mastectomy
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